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Faltering Indian telecom manufacturer plans revival

Intel rumoured to be bidding to create WIMAX joint ventures with ITI in either Uttar Pradesh or Bangalore

Faltering Indian telecom manufacturer plans revival
Indian Telecom Industries is inviting bids to set up joint venture companies in the country.

India's state-run telecom equipment manufacturer Indian Telecom Industries (ITI) is inviting bids from local and international firms to form joint venture companies (JVCs) at Rae Bareli and Naini in Uttar Pradesh as well as in Bangalore, Karnataka.

According to Business Standard, chip giant Intel has shown an interest in participating along with Huawei, Hitachi, Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung. Intel was recently in the news in relation to a new anti-competition suit that alleges the firm used billions of dollars worth of illegal rebates, paid primarily to Dell, to keep processors from rival AMD out of PCs from major vendors.

"As a part of its revival, the ITI Ltd is inviting bids to set up joint venture companies (JVCs) in association with ITI," a statement on the ITI website reads, explaining that "The majority equity participation can be from Indian or global players for WIMAX technology at Rae Bareli; Gigabit Passive Optical Network (G-PON) and Gigabit Ether Passive Optical Network (GE-PON) and Optical Transmission equipments at Naini; and for IP Core Systems at Bangalore."

ITI is also leaving the door open for the JVCs to manufacture other telcom and IT-related products at the sites on the condition that they are manufactured five years into the commencement of the JVCs' commercial production and that ITI is consulted on the activities planned.

India's first Public Sector Unit (PSU) ITI Ltd. was established in 1948 and has since contributed to 50% of the present national telecom network but found its floundering over huge losses in recent years. But late June this year telecom secretary Siddharta Behura said the Indian government would write off ITI's losses of more than Rs. 28 billion in a bid to "kickstart its revival with a clean slate".

It's the second time the government has had to extend a helping hand after a Rs. 1 billion bailout package was offered to ITI almost four years ago.

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